Capital Shopping Centres issued the policy change after thousands joined a Facebook campaign to support Chris White who was quizzed by a security guard at Braehead shopping centre near Glasgow last Friday.
The group owns some of the UK’s biggest shopping centres, including Lakeside, the Trafford Centre and the Metrocentre in Gateshead.
The photographer – who alerted Amateur Photographer (AP) to the policy U-turn last night – wrote on Facebook: ?Thanks to everyone who has supported this and brought it to the forefront of public debate.?
In a separate statement, Braehead last night apologised to White for ‘distress we may have caused’, adding: ‘We have listened to the very public debate surrounding our photography policy and as a result, with immediate effect, are changing the policy to allow family and friends to take photos in the mall.’
However, management said they reserve the ‘right to challenge suspicious behaviour for the safety and enjoyment of our shoppers’.
White said Braehead staff called police when he refused to delete images of his four-year-old daughter, Hazel.
He said police then told him they had the power to use anti-terror laws and confiscate the Sony Ericsson mobile phone he had used to capture the images.
As we reported yesterday, White has also lodged a formal complaint to Strathclyde Police about his treatment by officers.
The force is conducting an internal investigation.
The photo enthusiast has also received a formal written apology from Braehead management.
The new policy will apply to 11 shopping centres owned by Capital Shopping Centres. The group said it plans to discuss the policy at three other centres which it owns in partnership with other companies.
A Capital spokeswoman confirmed the rule change to AP this morning.
AP has spearheaded a campaign to defend photographers’ rights for the past six years.
In recent months the magazine, and other photography groups, have met Home Office officials to discuss the training of private security guards.
The talks, held at the Home Office with counter-terrorism officials and police, are set to lead to the introduction of new guidelines.
Picture credit: Chris White